Throughout the coming weeks, CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2014-15 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every day in alphabetical order. Today: John Carlson
Age: 25 [turns 26 Jan. 10]
Ht/Wt: 6-3, 215
Penalty minutes: 28
Average Ice Time: 23:04
Playoff games: 14
Penalty minutes: 4
Average Ice Time: 23:57
Contract Status: 3 years remaining on 6-year, $23.8 million contract [2015-16 salary: $3,966,667; cap hit: $3,966,667]
Strengths: This was truly a breakout season for Carlson, who was given top-pair defensive duties alongside Brooks Orpik and responded with career highs in goals , assists  and points  despite seeing his average ice time decreased by 1:26 from 2013-14. The Caps’ new coaching staff wanted Carlson to break through his glass ceiling, with Barry Trotz noting he wanted to see Carlson go from being good to great. To his credit, Carlson worked with assistant coach Todd Reirden every day before practice on everything from off-balanced one-timers to taking pucks off the wall on his backhand. If Carlson continues to work on the little aspects of his game he can be even more impactful as his career unfolds.
Room for improvement: Carlson has a hard, accurate shot from the point on the power play but managed just three goals on the man-advantage this season. He still needs to develop a better power-play rhythm with Alex Ovechkin, who at times was handcuffed by the pace and placement of Carlson’s cross-ice passes toward Ovechkin’s wheelhouse. Carlson also led the Caps in giveaways this season with 88, while finishing fifth on the club in takeaways with 41.
Memorable Moment: The moment actually belonged to Nicklas Backstrom, but Carlson was happy to play a big role in the occasion. On Oct. 22, while the Caps were on a power play against the Edmonton Oilers, Carlson took a return pass from Backstrom and blasted an off-balanced shot past Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens. The goal gave Backstrom his 500th NHL point.
Quotable: “I’m doing whatever I can to get better every day, that’s always been my goal and I want to stick to it as much as possible. The schedule is crazy, so whenever I can get a chance I do it. A couple minutes a day isn’t going to make me a superstar, but it helps my game.” – Carlson on extra work with Todd Reirden
2015-16 Expectations: If Mike Green is no longer in Washington, look for Carlson to have an even bigger bite on the Caps’ power play next. His shot is too good for him not to use it on a more regular basis. Playing alongside Orpik has allowed Carlson to play a more offensive role and that should continue next season, when he tries to become the Capitals’ all-time iron man. With 376 consecutive games, Carlson needs 47 more games to pass Bobby Carpenter’s franchise record of 422.